A taste of Christmas
Activities for toddlers and babies
When I think of Christmas, colourful and flavourful food comes to mind... This theme will help you explore Christmas treats with little ones.
You will need several paper plates. Let babies and toddlers draw on the plates with red and green markers and crayons. Encourage them to glue printed pictures representing special Christmas treats (star-shaped cookies, gingerbread, etc.) on the plates. Hang the plates from the ceiling with pretty ribbon to decorate your daycare.
ROUTINES AND TRANSITIONS
Make your meals extra special by adding small decorative details. Here are a few suggestions:
- A safe Christmas candle.
- Christmas placemats.
- Play Christmas music.
- Set a musical Christmas ornament on the table.
- Red and green plastic utensils and plates.
- Large Christmas stickers children can stick on their glass.
SENSORY ACTIVITIES (smell)
Have children smell a variety of spices, especially those that remind you of Christmas recipes such as cloves and cinnamon. I usually bring children directly to the kitchen and let them manipulate my spice jars.
SENSORY ACTIVITIES (look)
Sparkly Christmas snack
To make snack time extra special, you will need:
- Aluminum pie plates
- Christmas illustrations
- Adhesive paper
Simply arrange the illustrations in the bottom of the plates and cover them with adhesive paper. Use illustrations found on the Internet, old Christmas greeting cards, items cut out of wrapping paper, or illustrations available in the educatall club. Deposit snacks in the plates. Children will be happy to discover the illustrations hiding under their snack items.
Important: Watch the plates closely. If children play with them, they may crack. If this happens discard them immediately to avoid cuts.
ARTS & CRAFTS
Wrap an empty milk carton in brown construction paper to represent a gingerbread house. Let babies and toddlers draw on their gingerbread house. Older children can glue tiny construction paper gingerbread men and candy pieces all over.
MORAL AND SOCIAL ACTIVITIES
Pick and choose your snack
Letting babies and toddlers choose between two items allows them to develop their autonomy and learn to express their preferences. Select two Christmas-themed snacks, two different types of beverages, or two different containers. Present them to your group and ask children which one they want. They can express their choice verbally or non-verbally.
A special guest
Select a Christmas stuffed animal and invite it to join you for snack time or lunch. Set an extra place at the table complete with a chair, plate, and utensils. Older children will enjoy naming the stuffed animal. The stuffed animal will keep children company as they eat. When they are done, move the stuffed animal to your role play area. Children will love to pretend to bake treats for their new friend.
Surprise snacks (Object permanence)
You will need several gift boxes or gift bags, ideally one per child. Throughout the week, deposit children's snacks in their box or bag. Encourage children to discover their snack of the day.
Green and red fruit salad
Introduce children to colors by preparing a fruit salad composed of only red and green fruit. Depending on the ages of the children in your group, cut green grapes, strawberries, watermelon, and honeydew melon into tiny pieces.
Introduction to numbers
Laminate Christmas pictures and display them on a wall near children's highchairs or near the table where they eat. For example, you could display three Santa Claus pictures. At lunch time, have fun counting the pictures with your group. Write "Christmas" in the educatall club's search engine to find a wide range of pictures you can use.
PHYSICAL ACTIVITY AND MOTOR SKILLS
Moving around the daycare or neighbourhood
Purchase or prepare a special Christmas snack. With your group, distribute this special snack to children from other groups. Let children move around as quickly or as slowly as they wish. If it can be done safely, you may also deliver your special snack to people you know well in your neighbourhood with toddlers. What a wonderful Christmas surprise!
Print several Christmas-themed illustrations or pictures: Santa Claus, a gingerbread house, gifts, etc. Laminate them and stick them on children's highchair trays. You may also laminate them on a plain plastic tablecloth. During meals, name the objects with your group.
A treat for your reading corner
Allow children to munch on a Christmas cookie while they are looking at books in your reading corner.
Early childhood educator
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